Gunpowder Green Tea
Gunpowder Green TeaGunpowder Green TeaGunpowder Green TeaGunpowder Green Tea

American Civil War Gunpowder Tea

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If a Civil War soldier was fortunate to have tea in his backpack, it was likely to be a Chinese green tea called Gunpowder. This tea was named by early Dutch East India buyers who thought the tightly-rolled leaves resembled gunpowder.
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Elmwood Inn was already 20-years-old when 75,000 troops descended on the village of Perryville, Kentucky in October 1862. Gunpowder green tea would have been the tea of choice for the fortunate soldier who could secure a bit for his knapsack. Merchant John Burton, Elmwood's first owner, stocked this Chinese tea in his general store but hid it along with other valuables as the invading armies scavenged their way across the region.

You'll find our commemorative CIVIL WAR tea tins in the National Park gift shops at Gettysburg National Park, Manassas, and other historic venues.

Contrary to oft-told stories amongst both the Civil War and American Revolution Reenactors, brick tea was not found in the soldier's kits during either conflict. Chinese brick tea was transported out of Northern China and into Mongolia, Tibet, and Russia. The East India Company imported loose tea.

Gunpowder green tea was originally from China. By 1890, 40% of the green tea in America came from Japan.

Read more about the history of tea in A Social History of Tea by Jane Pettigrew and (Elmwood owner) Bruce Richardson.

Product Reviews

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(6 Ratings, 3 Reviews) Average Rating:
Love this tea!
AJC (Danville, KY) 9/21/2020 2:02 PM
So far, this is the best green tea I have ever had, from all brands I have tried. It has a smooth taste and bold flavor. Make sure not to use boiling water - use water no more than 180-185 for best taste!
Enjoyable for cheap
Durdell Hensdadt (South Windsor, CT) 8/22/2018 1:30 PM
One of those rare green teas that's enjoyable for cheap
Four Stars
Bea (United States) 8/22/2018 1:29 PM
Good tea.